Baidu’s ERNIE doesn’t want confrontation with United States

More than 30,000 enterprise users applied for access to Baidu’s ERNIE Bot Enterprise Edition within two hours of its launch yesterday, the company reported

Chinese technology giant Baidu has launched ERNIE Bot, a new-generation large language model and generative AI that understands Chinese language and culture, can create literary and business content, and carry out complex mathematical calculations.

Robin Li, Baidu Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, took time at the press conference in Beijing to say the new product is not a tool for China-US Technology confrontation but a powerful example of innovation-driven development.

ERNIE Bot - initially opened to select users with invitation codes - will soon be accessible to a broader audience. Baidu will also provide the ERNIE Bot API via Baidu AI Cloud for enterprise clients, with over 650 companies joining the ecosystem since February.

Li demonstrated ERNIE Bot's performance in five scenarios during the press conference: literary creation, business writing, mathematical calculation, Chinese language understanding, and multi-modal generation. The AI product showcased its versatility and high-level creative capacity, attributing its abilities to being trained on vast amounts of data, such as trillions of web pages, tens of billions of search and image data, daily voice data, and a knowledge graph of 550 billion facts.

ERNIE helps with emerging business opportunities

ERNIE Bot has been developed based on Baidu's in-house models ERNIE (Enhanced Representation of Knowledge Integration) and PLATO (Pre-trained Dialogue Generation Model), with Haifeng Wang, Baidu's CTO, highlighting its evolution since 2019. 

Li envisions LLMs opening up three emerging business opportunities: cloud computing firms providing Model-as-a-Service solutions, companies specialising in fine-tuning sector-specific models, and enterprises developing applications built upon LLMs. Baidu AI Cloud is set to launch cloud services and application products based on ERNIE Bot, including public cloud and private deployment options.

"ERNIE Bot is not a tool for China-US Technology confrontation,” says Li. “It is a product of generations of Baidu technicians pursuing the dream of technology changing the world. It is a brand-new platform allowing us to serve hundreds of millions of users and empower thousands of industries, and a powerful example of innovation-driven development.

"We believe that artificial intelligence will revolutionise every industry we know today. The immense long-term value of AI and its transformative impact on all aspects of life are only in their infancy.”

You can watch yesterday's press conference in the video below.


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